The Wadsworths: Crafting a Legacy
Inspiring a new generation with old world craftsmanship.
Thousands of YouTube commenters explain the success of this father and son duo best; they are respected among millennial viewers as the “hard as nails” team driven by pure conviction toward a goal. Their amazing work ethic both inspires and uplifts others to do the same. Both Scott and Nate Wadsworth would be gratified to know this. Their self-stated goal of passing on time-honored traditions and excellent craftsmanship has already come to fruition.
A Born Craftsman
When he was just a lad Scott Wadsworth was fascinated by blacksmithing. He kept reading about all the things they made that were essential to life in the Old West. Everything from horse bits to printing presses were fashioned in the forge of a blacksmith. By chance one day in front of his dad’s shop he found out what it felt like to put hammer to metal and shape things. He worked a handful of penny nails over a small fire he made and began pounding them flat with his dad’s carpenter hammer using a piece of railroad track as a makeshift anvil. He didn’t know how to form anything yet, but it didn’t matter. The feel of the hammer against metal reverberating up his arm was all it took to set a course for this precocious young man.
The Formative Years
With only a high school welding class under his belt, Scott traveled around working with hundreds of experienced tradesmen, devouring knowledge as hungrily as he devoured the western paperbacks that began his own journey. Four states and many months of tutelage later, he’d acquired skills in logging, carpentry, concrete pouring, steel fabricating, house framing, and yes, blacksmithing. He settled with his high school sweetheart and four kids in Las Vegas enjoying a lucrative life as a contractor during the boom years.
The Oregon Blacksmith
Following his fatherly instincts, Scott decided to move his family back to Oregon and a life far away from the neon and commercialized debauchery of Vegas. He took a significant pay cut in the process. Putting his family’s welfare and a healthy life ahead of everything else, he introduced his loved ones to the simpler joys, reconnecting with his roots in the process. The old dream of a blacksmith’s forge became reality when Scott was given the tool collection of a museum’s railroad roundhouse blacksmith shop by community pillar, Bill Vian. Sufficiently inspired, he built a working forge with his bare hands. As he lived out his childhood fantasies, Scott fanned the flames of a legacy he never saw coming.
Like Father, Like Son
Of Scott’s four creative and musically inclined children, son Nate stood out with a natural talent for visual arts and inheritor of entrepreneurial juices. A talented guitarist and creative problem-solver with a fantastic mind for business, Nate’s interests reflected the modern age of technology. He was successful in his own right, graduating from Brigham Young University of Hawaii with a successful real estate career in Arizona. But when Nate saw his father creating old school metal masterpieces in his fiery workplace, it sparked an idea that would ironically captivate the most tech-savvy generation in history.
If We Film It They Will Watch
Nate began filming videos of Scott at work in his mighty forge, fashioning the gates and ironwork Scott liked to call “house jewelry.” Scott knew nothing of YouTube or uploads and considered this process a possible way to supplement his income if anything came of it. Something quickly did. As thousands of young men began viewing the videos a remarkable thing happened. Scott became the online grandpa to a generation of connection-starved millennials. The Essential Craftsman YouTube channel was now essential viewing for reasons no one expected. The result was a new generation hungry for old school skills and even hungrier for the fatherly pedagogy.
Crafting the Audience
What began as a way to sell product morphed into videos about carpentry and house framing, plumbing, and dry wall. As the viewership grew by the thousands, Scott and Nate made videos in response to their audience. They showed the “hack” generation hacks for using tools and avoiding mistakes putting floors in. Videos showing mistakes won the hearts of young cynics with their authenticity. Nothing says genuine like a man admitting he messed up. To millennials, Scott and Nate became real bros worthy of a thousand likes.
Handing Down Traditions in a Digital World
With no script and barely an outline, Scott and Nate learned as they went. Video by video they shaped their channel on feedback from commenters. Handing down old school craftsmanship has to date garnered them 600,000 YouTube subscribers and an average 100,000 views per video. This doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Each video takes hours or days to film and sometimes days or even months to edit. The meticulous illustration of every detail is key to each how-to video’s success. Nate edits out the fluff so all that’s left is relatable, practical content. See for yourself how their videos capture the imagination of their audience…
The Two-Man Trade School
What’s next for this father and son powerhouse? An actual house. The Essential Craftsman channel will log a minimum of 200 videos showing their audience every aspect of building a house from basement to chimney. True to character, they will also film the goofs, grins, and gaffes for all to see. We can only speculate how many future neighborhoods will have “Essential Craftsman” homes but my guess is more than we think. One thing’s for certain; they’ll be very well built if Scott’s guidance was involved.
Building for the Future
Some men set out to build a legacy and think they know exactly how it will go. Others either don’t dare or don’t believe they have much to pass on. Scott and Nate Wadsworth don’t have that problem. By freely sharing a heritage and love for the hands-on arts they’ve captured the imagination of thousands, inspiring an equal number of callouses and feelings of accomplishment. To a multitude of kids raised on “clicks” and “swipes,” it’s a whole new world and the generational connection they’ve been missing.
Follow the Wadsworth noble example, fellow elders. Pass on your legacy. Your grandkids will thank you for it. For more information on this fascinating duo, visit https://essentialcraftsman.com/.